Greek Online Gambling Laws Contravene E.U. Mandate

Published Tuesday, March 12, 2013 -

The word exclusive has given rise to a number of complaints aimed at the European Commission which handles trade disputes throughout the Union. In the case of online gambling there are numerous situations in the European Union that are considered unfair making an issue of the lack of free e-commerce proposed by the E.U. mandate.

The Remote Gambling Association, which is the world’s largest online gambling trade association, has been pointing out the problems with the Greek administration when it decreed that the state owned firm OPAP has the exclusive right to organise and operate games of chance in Greece. The RGA has lodged yet another complaint with the European Commission, recently. The RGA says that the recent set of decrees by the government is an attempt to give more strength to the gambling monopoly in order to gain value while the Greek government has the intention of selling the one third portion it has in OPAP.

The Chief Executive Officer of the RGA, Clive Hawkswood, says Greek consumers “will not get the benefits of a regulated and competitive market,” Mr.Hawkswood added, “all operators to be offered a level playing field across Europe. No one could suggest that is unreasonable. In Greece we have OPAP’s monopoly being protected and extended for a short-term gain when in the long run the Greek people will benefit from additional choice and better value if the remote gambling market is opened up”.

The RGA is asking the European Commission to reconsider its legal proceedings against the Greek government siting the new edicts as grounds and that the granting of exclusivity to OPAP will close the market for other online gambling operators until 2020 subsequently breaching the laws of the European Union. The RGA is not the online trade organization to complain to the European Commission it is joined by the European Gaming and Betting Association which stated the OPAP online payment systems prevent competitors from penetrating the Greek gambling market.

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